Department of Sociology

Kathleen Averett

MDiv, Harvard University

Kathleen Averett



Gender, Sexuality, LGBTQ Studies, Family, Childhood, Mixed-Methods Research, Qualitative Methods


Kate Henley Averett is a doctoral candidate in the department of sociology and a Graduate Fellow in the Urban Ethnography Lab. Her research and teaching interests lie primarily in the areas of gender, sexuality, childhood, and the family. Kate’s dissertation is a mixed-methods examination of discourses of childhood gender and sexuality in the contemporary homeschooling movement. Her dissertation sheds light on how varying constructions of childhood shape the ways in which parents make decisions about their children’s education and upbringing. She uncovers how the neoliberal trend of divestment from public education, and the corresponding increased emphasis on parental responsibility and choice, are both gendered and sexualized. The Sexualities section of the American Sociological Association awarded Kate’s dissertation proposal the 2014 Martin P. Levine Memorial Dissertation Award. In addition to her research on homeschooling, Kate has conducted research on the parenting beliefs and practices of LGBTQ parents, and her paper “The Gender Buffet: LGBTQ Parents Resisting Heteronormativity” (forthcoming in Gender & Society) was awarded the 2015 Norval Glenn Prize for the outstanding graduate student paper in family sociology by the department of sociology at UT Austin. This paper was also awarded honorable mention for the 2015 Sally Hacker Graduate Student Paper Award by the ASA Sex and Gender section. While completing her doctoral program in sociology, Kate has also completed a Graduate Portfolio in Women’s and Gender Studies, with an LGBTQ/Sexualities concentration. Kate is active with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at UT Austin, and served on the conference planning committee for the 2015 CWGS Graduate Student Conference.

Selected Publications:

Kate Henley Averett. “The Gender Buffet: LGBTQ Parents Resisting Heteronormativity.” Forthcoming, Gender & Society.

Kate Henley Averett. “The Catholic Worker Ethic and the Spirit of Marxism.” InMarc DiPaolo, Ed., 2013. Unruly Catholics from Dante to Madonna: Faith, Heresy, and Politics in Cultural Studies. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Kate Henley Long. “On Sex, Sin, and Silence: An Islamic Theology of Storytelling as Tool for Confronting the AIDS Pandemic.” In Farid Esack and Sarah Chiddy, Eds., 2009. Islam and AIDS: Between Scorn, Pity and Justice. Oxford: Oneworld Press.

Teaching Experience:


SOC 323 – The Family (Summer 2015)

SOC 307F – Diversity in American Families (Spring 2015)

Teaching Assistant:

SOC 317M: Introduction to Social Research (Fall 2015, Summer 2014, Spring 2012)

SOC 323: The Family (Spring 2014)

SOC 317L: Intro to Social Statistics (Spring 2013, Fall 2013)

SOC 333K: Sociology of Gender (Fall 2012)

SOC 379M: Sociological Theory (Fall 2011)

SOC 302: Introduction to the Study of Society (Fall 2010, Spring 2011)


SOC F323 • The Family

86774 • Summer 2015
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM CLA 1.106
(also listed as WGS F345)


This course examines the family as a social institution – one that is shifting, contested, and historically and culturally situated. We will focus our attention on contemporary experiences, definitions, and debates of and about the family in the United States, using a historical perspective to ground our analyses. We will explore how the family is changing – and for whom – and how these changes both shape and are shaped by other social institutions, including the state and the economy. We will examine the causes and consequences of family inequality, with specific attention paid to how race, class, gender, and sexuality act as stratification systems that contribute to inequality.

Required text:

Philip N. Cohen, The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change (Norton, 2014).

Grading Requirements (tentative, and subject to change):

  • 2-3 short written homework assignments
  • 2 exams
  • Final research project, including presentation
  • Class participation



SOC 307F • Diversity In Amer Families

44870 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WEL 2.256
(also listed as WGS 301)

This course will provide a broad examination of the diversity of American families and current debates about family life from a sociological perspective, with an emphasis on how gender, race/ethnicity, social class, and sexualities shape experiences and definitions of family. The course will cover theoretical perspectives on family and kinship as well as recent trends in several aspects of family life, including cohabitation, marriage and divorce, parenthood, family policy, and family structure. Specific attention will be given to marginalized family types, including LGBT families, immigrant families, and interracial families.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086